Plans for church hall com­plex

Hawke's Bay Today - - Indulge - Chris­tine McKay

The St John the Bap­tist Angli­can Church hall is no longer fit for pur­pose and the parish and dio­cese are mak­ing plansto re­place it.

The ex­ist­ing hall can only cater for 50 peo­ple and the Rev­erend Jo Crosse told Dan­nevirke Com­mu­nity Board mem­bers this week a re­place­ment with ca­pac­ity for 250 would be ideal.

“The new hall would also likely be the home for Tararua Fam­ily Ser­vices who are look­ing for a bet­ter fa­cil­ity and our Elske Cen­tre is hop­ing to ex­pand,” she said. “The new build­ing would be a church hall, a base for Laven­der Blue, a so­cial ser­vices hub, a base for St John cadets and our preschool mu­sic group. We are re­ally open to sug­ges­tions be­cause we want the new fa­cil­ity to be used by the com­mu­nity.

“You are the peo­ple with their fin­ger on the pulse and I’d like your in­put and sug­ges­tions.”

Jo said the new build­ing would also have of­fice and coun­selling space, as well as a flex­i­ble hall space.

“The so­cial ser­vices trust board is car­ry­ing out a strate­gic re­view, with the dio­cese in­volved in that con­ver­sa­tion and the re­view should be out by the end of No­vem­ber or the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber,” she said.

Ross Mac­Don­ald, chair­man of the com­mu­nity board, said it was ob­vi­ous the new build­ing would be oc­cu­pied ev­ery day and he would be keen to see the plans when they are ready.

“It’s quite ex­cit­ing. There is go­ing to be an­other new build­ing on High St,” he said. Jo said she was hope­ful time­lines and plans would be ready by the end of Jan­uary next year.

“I’ve taken the vestry and vis­ited Hawke’s Bay to look at op­tions,” she said.

Photo: Chris­tine McKay

The large, empty sec­tion ad­ja­cent to St John the Bap­tist Angli­can Church and the ex­ist­ing hall, which will ul­ti­mately house new of­fices and a hall, but a new ac­cess drive­way to the for­mer vicarage, now sold, will be built along the right-hand side first.

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